Artist’s work highlights the plight of Palestine

Gilly Collinson - Protest Skyline
Gilly Collinson - Protest Skyline

A SCARBOROUGH writer and artist who attended a weekly protest in Palestine says Israel’s decision to move the controversial wall in the village of Bil’in is too little too late.

Gilly Collinson visited towns across the West Bank in March and is now preparing the material she gathered for an art exhibition entitled Imprinting Palestine.

Gilly Collinson'teargas

Gilly Collinson'teargas

She said: “All international law decrees that the barrier wall is illegal where it encroaches upon Palestinian land, and even the Israeli high court ordered the government to re-route the barrier at Bil’in.

“It cuts about two miles into Palestinian farming land, making an incredibly difficult life almost impossible,” she said.

“It’s taken four years for them to act on this ruling, and even now many acres are still being retained on the Israeli side”. As a student in the 1970s, Gilly attended art school in Jerusalem. Her early experience of seeing the problems in the Middle East, combined with events she witnessed in March, drew her to make it the subject of her artwork.

She said: “No-one could visit the West Bank and not be moved. It’s a beautiful, inspiring place and the people are warm and welcoming, but the hardships that they have to endure are literally unbelievable. “It would be good to think that this concession in moving the Bil’in barrier might be the start of more reasonable treatment of the Palestinian people. They deserve better. And if I can use art to make even one person pause to think about what is going on out there, then I have to try.”

Gilly Collinson

Gilly Collinson